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Prioritize Players Over Trends: Advice from Owlchemy CEO


Owlchemy CEO Andrew Eiche urges industry leaders to prioritize players’ needs and desires over blindly following trends. Learn how understanding player preferences and fostering a thoughtful approach to game development can lead to sustainable success. Find out more in this insightful interview.

Prioritizing Players: Insights from Owlchemy CEO Andrew Eiche

Andrew Eiche, the CEO of Owlchemy, a virtual reality (VR) studio, shares valuable advice for industry leaders on prioritizing players over trends. In an interview with Game Developer, Eiche emphasizes the importance of understanding players’ needs and desires instead of blindly following industry trends.

Prioritize Players Over Trends: Advice from Owlchemy CEO - -1429987972

( Credit to: Gamedeveloper )

Eiche cautions against chasing trends and urges industry leaders to focus on what players truly want. He points out that many companies jumped on the live service bandwagon without fully grasping why players enjoy these games. While live service titles have gained popularity, Eiche emphasizes that their success lies in understanding player preferences. He cites the example of Helldivers 2, which succeeded not just because it was a live service game, but because it had a strong thematic focus that resonated with players.

Immersive Theming: Connecting with Players on a Deeper Level

Eiche delves deeper into the importance of immersive theming in games. He highlights how Helldivers 2’s thematic elements transformed seemingly mundane actions, such as choosing which planet to liberate, into significant moments within an intergalactic conflict. It is this attention to detail and player experience that ultimately connects with players, rather than simply adopting a specific monetization model.

Eiche emphasizes that understanding players’ desires and needs is crucial for creating successful games. By focusing on creating immersive and engaging experiences, developers can forge a deeper connection with players and stand out in a crowded market.

The State of the Industry: Challenges and Solutions

Reflecting on the current state of the industry, Eiche describes it as the “worst” period he has witnessed throughout his years as a developer. He attributes this to corporate avarice and a lack of foresight, leading to layoffs and studio closures.

Eiche agrees with Larian boss Swen Vincke’s assertion that greedy publishers have contributed to the industry’s problems. He suggests that industry leadership should include more developers who understand the intricacies of game development. Striking a balance between business expertise and an understanding of game development is crucial for sustainable growth.

Nurturing Sustainable Success: Resisting Short-Term Gains

In conclusion, Eiche advises industry leaders to resist the temptation of short-term gains and instead focus on nurturing a diverse range of projects. He highlights the importance of taking more shots on different groups of people and investing in smaller, more targeted endeavors rather than pouring all resources into a single game.

By prioritizing players’ desires and needs and fostering a more thoughtful and inclusive approach to game development, the industry can navigate the challenges it currently faces and find sustainable success.

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